tv [untitled] March 10, 2012 11:00am-11:30am EST
country said no, this separation, segregation, is inappropriate. so, that's the beginning of the unraveling of percy versus ferguson. continuing up until 1954 where we have the ending of legal date government enforced segregation. that is an important part. then '64 is the federal civil rights act which covered a lot of things. that is why i say '35 to '64. but i want to talk about -- i take this opportunity. esther, could i have you come forward? there is an important step in this. please come up here. [ applause ] >> her case -- let me explain this. folks have never understood the significance of this. they say this is the woman who
desegregated the university of maryland school of nursing and that sounds great, but folks don't understand the significance. after the case, the governments and courts construed it as being a law school case. they said, well, law schools are different. you can -- maybe you have to allow people to go to law school in their state because the laws are unique. and so, it took years before the next success occurred beyond a law school. that was esther's case. what happened was in the interim, about eight or ten southern states had entered into what they called the southern compact. it was an agreement that each
state would allow blacks to come to their colored professional school that they happen to have. if north carolina had a veterinarian school, all the other states would deny blacks to go into the white veterinary schools, but they were satisfied separate but equal by sending them to north carolina. or the medical schools or the nursing school. it is in esther's case that the southern compact was knocked out. not just for the school of nursing. she is the first desegregation by court order beyond a law school because they had construed the case and the supreme court decision out in missouri as just dealing with law schools. if we want to talk about whose case began opening up education
broadly beyond law school, this is the person right here. [ applause ] >> i didn't expect to say anything. this happened in such an unusual manner. i wanted to be a nurse. i spoke this morning for the postal service. they had a program there. i was telling them the story. also at st. john's church on sunday. i told the story. i love when young people hear and be inspired. but from a little girl at eight years old, i knew i wanted to be a nurse. provident hospital was the only school i could go to in
baltimore because everything else was segregated. all hospitals were segregated. there was nothing wrong with provident. one of my classmates when i graduated, she was admitted there. i said to another classmate. i said it is ashame we cannot go to any school we want to go to merely because of our race. i said to her, let's apply to the white school. she said what? i said let's write to the white schools. i don't know where it came from. she said you know what they will say. i said yes, we know what they will say, but let's write anyway. she said where do we get the names? i said look at the phone directory. all of this is coming. i said, you take the first half and i'll take the second. we started writing and getting replies back. we don't accept negros. we don't accept negros at this
time. our negro high school graduates want to continue our education and study nursing. the university send me the catalog that we requested and the application. when i took my form to the medical doctor, he said did you contact the naacp. i said why? he said you know you will not get in there without their help. i said they sent me the application. he said that doesn't mean anything. i don't know today, but i believe he contacted them because i heard from donald murray asking me to speak with them. then they asked me to meet with charles houston. he said who put you up to it? i said who put me up to what? he said who put you up to this? i said nobody. i told them how it happened. he said you are very brave. since you started it, we will let you continue. if you get into any trouble,
call on us. of course, when the time came for my admission date and i hadn't heard from them and i wrote to them. it was always the committee on admissions is reviewing your credentials. that was their mantra. when it passed the date, then i called them. then that's when charles houston and donald murray went into the local to argue. we lost there. charles houston had a heart attack by the time the appeal came up. that is how thurgood marshall got in. he was called in from new york to argue the appeal with donald murray. in april of 1950, the decision was handed down that the university had to admit me and that was another song and dance that i won't go into. it was such an experience. i remember that first day while
they pretended they had no rooms there and i had to commute. that first day when i got home, i remember it was so stressful because that day a nurse came up to me and said if you don't pray to god, you won't get out of here because nobody here is for you. i looked at her and said if god intends for me to get out of here, nobody intends to stop me. anyway, one sun newspaper reporter wrote one time. i told him he ended his column by saying god intended. anyway, i did graduate, many trials and tribulations there. i still go back to encourage the young people going in now. i tell them that you can do anything. tell them what my mother told me. you can do anything you want to do. be anything you want to be as long as you work hard and stay focused and don't let anybody
tell you you can't do it. thank you. [ applause ] >> and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end. in all honesty, realize what just happened. we just saw and heard history of maryland civil rights. it is on camera. we have tape rolling. i see cameras. it will be forever reside in the collection. that story has been captured. thank you so much. i'll turn it over to patricia to lead us out. >> i want to thank you.
do we have a microphone? thank you. i want to thank all of you for being here this evening. we had a wonderful time. i wish we could stay and talk. there is a lot of energy and more questions in the room. for you who expressed interest in what's going to happen to your collections and this history, because this generation is really right at our finger tips and will slip away. we have an obligation as historians and institutions to step up and figure out how we can help. so, what i'm going to do is we will have information on our web site by monday. jenny will be off tomorrow. we will have it there. you can pick up my card at the desk on the way out and e-mail me. is rob schoberlein still here? rob was here earlier. he is with the maryland state archives and baltimore city
archives. i know he is interested in helping. you can talk to damon talbott. where is evan? iris? we are happy to help. let us know how we can help you. for you who are leaders of your organizations, we are happy to meet with you and assist you in any way we can. we are invested in this and excited about it and honored. we thank you all for coming in. absolutely. you are welcome to go upstairs if you have not seen the henderson photo exhibit. thank you so much for coming. [ applause ] you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend, on
c-span 3. for more information, follow us on twitter at c-span history. there is a new web site for american history tv where you can find our schedules and preview our programs. watch featured video from the weekly series as well as access ahtv's history tweets and social media from facebook, youtube, twitter and four square. follow american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. i believe it is yet possible that we will come to admire this country not simply because we were born here, but because of the kind of great and good land that you and i want it to be and that together we have made it. that is my hope. that is my reason for seeking the presidency of the united states. >> as candidates campaign for
president this year, we look back at 14 men who ran for office and lost. go to c-span.org/thecontenders. >> the leadership of this nation has a clear and immediate challenge to go to work effectively and go to work immediately to restore proper respect for law and order in this land and not just prior to election day either. >> c-span.org/thecontenders. next, william fowler on his book the american crisis. the dangerous two years after yorktown. the author details general george washington's struggles as he dealt with congress. this 50-minute event was hosted by the social law library in boston.
>> thank you, bob. very kind flattering remarks. a few moments ago bob asked what i would like him to say about me when he introduced me and i simply told him that he ought not to hesitate to exaggerate. but thank you. but at the same time i must also caution you that, you know, sometimes we're raised up to be let low? this is the season of course and student teacher evaluations and i was just reading mine this morning. it was pretty good. good, good, good. and then i came to one. the student decided to make a comment. the student described the comment. he said if i only had two hours left on earth, i'd want to spend them in professor fowler's class. and then i turned the page. and he continued. he said because professor fowler's class goes on for eternity. one must always be cautious.
on the morning of january 6, 1783, the doors of the continental congress in philadelphia opened to admit three senior officers of the continental army then encamped. the officers were three. these three officers arrived in the congress to announce to the members that the army at newburgh, the american army, was on the verge of mutiny. how could this have happened? after almost eight years of war with victories so close in sight, all was now in peril of being lost. we often think, of course, the american revolution ended october, 1781, yorktown, with
the surrender of general john wallace. under the command of washington. that was not the case. but even with the surrender of yorktown, the british army still occupied new york, georgia, north carolina, and a good portion of maine. and the navy while it had been defeated at the battle of the capes during the yorktown campaign, the navy was still supreme. the navy was still mistress of the ocean. the british had hardly been beaten. no one understood this better than the commander in chief himself, general washington. he was fearful that the news and victory of yorktown would, in fact, diminish the american effort. shortly after the battle he wrote to governor william nelson, the governor of virginia. he told governor nelson, quote,
instead of exciting our exertions, the victory at yorktown will produce such a relaxation, during the prosecution of the war as we prolong the calamities of it. he then wrote a few days later to general nathaniel green, the american commander in the south. he told general green, my greatest fear is that congress may think our work closed and will fall into a state of languor and relaxation. following that washington made a brief visit home to mt. vernon, only, by the way, the second time in eight years that he had been home. after a brief visit he and martha left mt. vernon and journeyed to philadelphia where they planned to spend the winter of 1781-82. in the meantime the american army having taken care of the army began their march to their
winter quarters, which they would take up on the hudson valley just north of new york city at a place for which they could watch the british army. washington arrived in philadelphia to great acclaim. parades and fireworks, endless toasts. he went fox hunting, his greatest pastime and indeed was having a wonderful social time in philadelphia. but not political. he did not attend the sessions of congress. that would have been improper for the commander in chief to attend congress. but every monday night he, robert morris, the financier as he was called, the equivalent of our secretary of the treasury, governor morris, alexander hamilton, james madison, and perhaps a few others met for dinner. it was at these dinners that
these men discussed what had happened in the congress that day, usually very little, they discussed the fact that the nation was bankrupt, that congress was paralyzed, and the army had not been paid. what to do. what to do. these men formed the core of a kind of shifting political alliance in the congress of men who were nationalists. these were men who saw america as a great nation but only if it had a more powerful central government. that, of course, was not the general sentiment in the congress itself. the congress was very much mindful of states' rights, parochial in particular. and as the months wore on through the winter, washington and martha enjoyed themselves, but virtually nothing got accomplished, nothing politically. in the meantime the army was there in the hudson valley,
unpaid, waiting. everyone knew sort of that the war was coming to an end, wasn't certain, but there were rumors, even though hard information was not forthcoming from paris, when negotiations were under way. there were rumors that things were finally going to end. but no sure sign of it yet. washington finally in march 1782 presented himself to the congress and asked their permission to leave. he wished to rejoin his army. they summoned him to meet before them, and they told him, quote, we have nothing particular to give you and have appointed this audience only to assure you of our esteem and confidence and to wish you happiness and success. happiness and success was all that he carried north, back to the army. there at the encampment just north of the city, the american
army was busy watching the british. the british in new york were under the command of general carlton. carlton had recently arrived. he was his majesty's commander in chief and his instructions were to take no offensive action against the americans. indeed his instructions were to prepare for evacuation. at the same time while washington was watching now carlton, there arrived the french. the french army under the general had spent the winter in virginia near the yorktown battlefield. come the spring it was time for them to move, only the french army was coming north to come here to boston to depart for the west indies.
the french were leaving america. there was a grand ceremony at the american encampment, troops passed in review. they reviewed each other's armies but then bade farewell. the americans were very much now on their own. as was in the midst of this that general washington received a letter, an extraordinary letter from colonel lewis nicola. he was it's the commander of the regiment of invalids. these were men who through injury, incumbent and were unable to serve in the line but were perfectly able to do guard duty, garrison duty, support duty. he saw every single day in t cost of war in the face of the men. his men had not been paid either.
he wrote to general washington, when this war is over, we who bore the labor of the day will not be forgotten and negligented. the army will not submit to this grave injustice. from several conversations i have had with officers, i believe it is generally intended not to separate after the peace until all grievances are addressed, engagements and promises fulfilled. this war must have shown to all but to military men in particular the weakness of republics. washington was stunned at the letter. ordinarily when the commander in chief received communication from one of his subordinates, he would certainly reply, but it would come within a week or perhaps longer. washington replied to nicola's letter the very same day. he wrote to the colonel, i have read your letter with a mixture of surprise and astonishment.
no occurrence in the course of a war has given me more painful sensation than your information of there being such ideas existing in the army. he then said, we will solve our difficulties in a constitutional way. well, of course, colonel nicola quickly ran for cover. there were several more letters from the colonel to the general apologizing but nonetheless his letter did in fact reflect the feelings of so many officers serving in the army. about two weeks later after colonel nicola's letter general washington received another communication, this one from major general james mitchell varnum. general varnum was from rhode island. he had been a major general, retired, and served in the congress. he was a man of great influence and prominence.
general varnum wrote to his commander in chief the congress is a baseless fabric. my fellow citizens are totally destitute of their love of equality that is absolutely requisite to support a republic. only an absolute monarchy or a military state alone can save us of the horrors of subjugation. washington, interestingly enough, did not respond to general varnum. but all of this weighed heavily on his mind and so he wrote to the secretary at war, benjamin lincoln, a massachusetts man. he told secretary at war lincoln if these men who have spent the
flower ever of their daysthfree independence of their country are sent home without one farthing of money, great discontents will arise. the patience and long sufferance of this army are almost exhausted. he then went on to tell secretary at war lincoln that he was particularly concerned because the army was about to go into winter quarters once again. 1782, 1783. and he knew the despair of winter quarters. they had come through torturous times before in the revolution. but in each of those winter encampments, they had at least the promise of a campaign, a military campaign in the spring to secure american independence. there would be no campaign in the coming spring. how to keep these men together, how to prevent mutiny. in the midst of this, the offices of the army gathered.
the regimental leaders, the staff of the army gathered. and without washington's permission, they did not seek it, they presented a memorial to him. they asked his permission to take this memorial to the congress in philadelphia. washington was very uneasy about this. it was a violation of military protocol. it could be seen, of course, as a challenge to civilian authority. authority that he had always respected. but, nonetheless, the situation was so grave that he feared that if he refused permission for his officers to take this memorial to philadelphia, he would resent the consequences that would arise. the memorial began in asking the congress, quote, as the head and sovereign to hear our plea, we have borne all that men can bear
and further experiments on our patience may have fatal effects. this memorial was the one entrusted to colonels ogden, brooks, and general macdougal to deliver to the congress. the congress received the memorial, gave it to a committee, of course, and the committee then deliberated for weeks and weeks. in the meantime, those gentlemen i mentioned earlier, hamilton, madison, morris, morris and lincoln, began to concoct a plan. they saw an opportunity here with the disgruntled army to use the army as a lever, as a threat, against the states and the congress. to force the states to give greater power to the congress, to demand from the congress their pay. and the only way they would get paid by the congress was if the states sent money and increased
the power of the central government. and they began, then, to play this very dangerous game of using the army. what these men feared most was peace. peace. because they knew that if peace came, the army would dissolve. they had not heard anything from our commissioners in paris, from mr. adams, mr. jay, mr. franklin and later mr. laurens. they didn't communicate with philadelphia. but the rumors were abound. these men knew they had to do something. he wrote to his friend, matthew ridley, quote, not much for the interest of
america that peace should be made at present. think about that. not much in our interests that peace should be made. it is in our interest that the war be prolonged. meanwhile, up at the camp in newburgh, the officers muttering and murmuring, there arrived a new general. his name was horatio gates. horatio gates was not a man much troubled by principle or loyalty. early in the war he had distinguished him as the commander of the american army at the battle of saratoga. a great victor in saratoga where he defeated general burgoyne. we sometimes forget about that year, 1777. called by the british for the year of the hangman for the three sevens being the gallows. and, general washington retreated from brandywine, germantown, and lost philadelphia. washington's reputn